October 2015

Races and Regattas

Baltic Tall Ships Regatta 2015

The Baltic Tall Ships Regatta 2015 officially started on Friday 5 June in Klaipeda, Lithuania when a fleet of 21 international vessels moored up alongside the embankments of the River Dane.

Baltic-1This was the third time Klaipeda had hosted a Tall Ships event – previous events were The Tall Ships Races 2009 and The Tall Ships Culture Regatta 2011.  This year the fleet was being welcomed by the rhythm of jazz given by the most famous jazz musicians in the world during the 21st Klaipeda Castle Jazz Festival

Vytautas Grubliauskas, Mayor of Klaipeda said, “Klaipeda was so proud to have been selected as the start port for the Baltic Tall Ships Regatta and we hope we made an impression on all the crew members so they will come back here again.  We are also sure that this unique event will encourage Klaipeda’s citizens to be even prouder of their Baltic port and its deep-rooted marine traditions.  The Tall Ships Regatta is called a life-changing experience – not only for the young trainees raising sails for the first time, but also for Klaipeda."

Over 500 crew members enjoyed Klaipeda’s hospitality over the next few days. While some were recovering from a challenging sail due to strong winds blowing across the Baltic Sea over recent days, others were joining their vessels for the first time – making new friends and preparing for their race to Szczecin, Poland on Monday (8 June).

Robin Snouck-Hurgronje, Race Chairman, Sail Training International said, “We were delighted to bring the Regatta back to Klaipeda.  We had vessels from six different countries including three of the largest class of vessels (Class A) from Poland, Netherlands and Russia – so visitors enjoyed an exciting maritime backdrop to the famous Jazz Festival.  We know the crews enjoyed a wonderful welcome and many were sailing for the first time but found it a positive life-changing adventure.  It is for this reason we run our events – to give people the experience of being at sea as a way to help them learn more about themselves and the value of working as a team.”

Watch the event in Klaipeda here:



The Race

After the fun in Klaipeda the fleet faced a challenging 240 nautical mile race across the Baltic to Szczecin, Poland.

Voyage planning is always a major part of the Captains role in the fleet and the Captains of every vessel attended a briefing to help them plan their strategy. 

The predictions for the race start showed conditions more favourable for the square-rigged vessels.  Mike Bowles, Race Director said, “It was too early to say who the likely leaders would be, but it was interesting to see if some of the fleet would make a tactical decision to head to the north where they would find more favourable winds, or not risk the winds becoming lighter as the day went on."

Dar M

The wind was blowing 15-20 knots at the start of the race, which was enough to give them a flying start – particularly for the Class Cs and Ds. 

First across the start line for the Class A vessels was Dar Mlodziezy (Poland) (pictured left); for Class B it was General Zaruski (Poland); first in Class C was Spaniel (Latvia); and first in Class D was Lietuva (Lithuania).

The race finished at sea on Wednesday 10 June and the first vessel into Szczecin's harbour was Dar Mlodziezy (Poland), closely followed by the whole fleet who were alongside in Szczecin on the Odra Zachodnia by midday Friday 12 June.

The weather in Szczecin was hot – reaching temperatures of 28 degrees celsius and attracted large crowds of visitors.

Piotr Krzystek, Mayor of the City of Szczecin said, “The Regatta was one of the greatest maritime celebrations in this part of Europe and thousands of people came out to admire the wonderful vessels, meet the crews and take part in the many attractions we had prepared for them over the coming days."

The winners

Class D Russian vessel Akela won the Baltic Tall Ships Regatta 2015, which was a great way to celebrate her 30th birthday.  

AkelaNot only was Akela first overall in the race from Klaipeda, Lithuania to Szczecin, Poland (on corrected time) she also won line honours (first over the finish line on the water) and first in her class (on corrected time).  

Akela (pictured right) is a Bermudian sloop, she was launched in St Petersburg in 1985 and is a regular participant and winner of Tall Ships Races and Regattas. The crew of eight (six males and two females) came from Russia, Belarus and Lithuania - the youngest being just eighteen years old. 

Class A ship Shtandart (Russia) was also highly awarded - coming first in her class, winning the award for being the most helpful during the race communications schedule and, most importantly, winning the highly coveted Friendship Trophy for her contribution towards international friendship and understanding throughout the Baltic Tall Ships Regatta (pictured below).

Shtandart Friendship Trophy

For more images check the STI website.  

Class prizes for the Baltic Tall Ships Regatta 2015



3rd in Class D on corrected time




2nd in Class D on corrected time




1st in Class D on corrected time




3rd in Class C on corrected time




2nd in Class C on corrected time




1st  in Class C on corrected time




3rd in Class B on corrected time




2nd  in Class B on corrected time




1st  in Class B on corrected time




2nd  in Class A on corrected time




1st  in Class A on corrected time




Communications prize

For the vessel that in the opinion of the communications officer did the most to help the race communications schedule




Line Honours





1st Overall on Corrected Time




Special awards


Youngest Captain

Sergei Smirnov (26 years old), Russia





Friendship Trophy: awarded to the vessel that, in the opinion of the other captains and crews, has contributed the most towards international friendship and understanding during the Baltic Tall Ships Regatta 2015 - SHTANDART


No comments have been left for this article

Have your say...

Your name will be published alongside your comment but we will not publish your email address.

All comments will be reviewed by a moderator before being published.

More articles in this section...


The Masthead is Sail Training International's flagship e-magazine.

It is the ONLY regular, international publication focused on Tall Ships, Small Ships and sail training.  

We share content with our readers sourced from all corners of the sail training world, so let us know all the latest about your port, vessel or sail training organisation.

We are looking for:

  • Video

  • Photos 

  • Competition prizes

Email us to find out more or contribute: themasthead@sailtraininginternational.org

Subscribe to The Masthead

SUBSCRIBE HERE to receive future editions.

Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life